The release of the 2006 marks the first time in the grand cuvée’s nearly-90 year history that five consecutive vintages have been made.
Richard Geoffroy, Chef de Cave says –
“I am a lucky man! The first decade of the new millenium has been prodigious for Dom Pérignon. I feel it might attain the golden eras of the 1920’s or 1960’s. This is why I am blessed to introduce Dom Pérignon Vintage 2006. The ambition of Dom Pérignon has always been to witness the vintages in Champagne. The reward of our commitment and dedication to the vintage is to be able to celebrate the release of our fifth vintage in a row, for the first time in the history of Dom Pérignon.
Out of these five vintages, four have been harvested at a stage of intense ripeness. Such frequency has never been seen in 300 years of Champagne harvests… yet each of these Vintages is unique. It is almost impossible to characterize full ripeness, as it can stem from a variety of weather conditions. I observed that there are two ways for the associated richness to express itself in the wine: either solemn, such as 2003 or 2005; or generous, such as 2002 or 2006.”
Dom Pérignon 2006 is best typified by its superlative generosity: a pure, airy and bright bouquet on the nose; a distinctive opulence, contained and succulent, on the palate. In essence, a luminous and glorious Champagne.
Champagne put in a strong performance on Liv-ex for 2015; it has accounted for 6.1% of trade on Liv-ex so far this year, up from 2.8% in 2014. The activity on the wine exchange has been driven by a flurry of new releases, including Dom Pérignon 2006, Pol Roger 2004 and Cristal 2007.
Antonio Galloni scored Cristal 2007 97+ points in July, describing it as “without question one of the very finest releases of the year”.
With its high score, at £1,040 a case, Cristal 2007 is currently cheaper than all other vintages on the market, so may prove an attractive investment for Champagne lovers given that it’s value is likely to rise in time.
Produced in large quantities, Champagne prices plateau when the wine enters the market but rise again after several years as the fizz becomes scarce.
Dom Pérignon’s chef de cave, Richard Geoffroy, defended multiple vintage Champagne releases at the launch of Dom Pérignon 2006 in London last month. “There is more latitude in playing the vintage game than ever. Some people might think we’re playing it safe via the status of the brand but every vintage has its story. In an ideal world I’d make a vintage wine every year. “There’s a debate in Champagne about reserving vintage releases for the best years but there shouldn’t be any artificial limitations put on it,” he said. “The first half of the last decade was fantastic – we should witness how remarkable those vintages were. When the quality is that spectacular you have to put the wines forward for release,” he added.
Geoffroy believes it is now normal to release seven to eight vintages per decade.
Moet & Chandon is set to release a new prestige cuvee into the US market early October.
Their new cuvee “MCIII” is highly unusual as it incorporates base wines from the 2003 vintage and a range of older reserve stocks, includes non-sparkling vin clair wines, with an assemblage of vintage wines aged both in stainless steel vats and oak casks.
This unique blend is 50 percent of Pinot Noir from the grand cru village of Ay, and 50 percent Chardonnay from Chouilly and Cramant.
Gouez has also included a high proportion of still, oak-aged wines: nearly 40 percent of the blend is reserve wine matured in oak barrels, hailing from the 2002, 2000 and 1998 vintages.
The Chef de cave Benoit Gouez completed this truly unique blend by uncorking vintage Champagne from 1999, 1998 and 1993 vintages.
With the price set at $450, this new prestige cuvee is being introduced gradually, with a limited production of 15,000 bottles.
The presentation is quite dramatic — MCIII is presented in a black bottle with a metallic cap, medallion base and beautiful wooden coffret.
Chef de cave Benoit Gouez has stated: “We have created a cuvee of great complexity, which is composed of three strata” or layers.”
“In only a few weeks my attention will be fully devoted to the 2015 vintage. The month of August is the calm before the storm, the perfect time to reflect on the past and contemplate the tasks to come. Since my last recap on the 2014 harvest I have had the opportunity to taste the wines several times.
In 2014 the selection of vineyards and grapes themselves were of utmost importance. The sanitary conditions created a scarcity effect, and we could only hope to reach our goal of excellence through careful and drastic sorting. The 2014 vintage was certainly heterogeneous: however there were hidden gems to be found throughout Champagne. Thankfully, through the diversity and quality of our grape sources, we could afford to be picky and to choose fruit only from the best vineyards.
The Pinot Noir grapes were few but had reached a high level of maturity. They contributed tropical aromas of exotic fruits, and were marked with generosity, fullness and amazing length. The Chardonnays, also quite mature and of high quality, were able to provide the much need acidic backbone to bring balance on the palate.
It is again too early to offer a final pronouncement about the 2014 vintage, which was certainly the most challenging since 2005. In this context I am already quite satisfied with what we have been able to achieve.”
Chef de Cave, Dom Pérignon